Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake Revisited


As with a lot of recipes, you have to make little tweaks to get it just right. I’m usually a “fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants” cook and throw things in a pot or pan and somehow it comes together. This was not the case for gooey butter cake. I believe this is my third post about gooey butter and the 2nd iteration of my pumpkin gooey butter recipe from scratch (not counting the original Paula Deen recipe).

Quick backstory…

We’ve scheduled to have our pastor over for dinner yesterday and had it planned over a month in advance. Come last week, I realized I never thought of a menu. My brain immediately goes to dessert. It’s October – PUMPKIN season! I had the itching to make pumpkin gooey butter cake and basically planned the menu around dessert.

It was a good strategy. You should try it sometime. 

Since my husband knew of this plan, he requested to lighten up on the pumpkin puree the next time I make it. It really was a good idea since the alteration showcased the gooey butter texture but still had a nice pumpkin flavor. My husband, the gooey butter expert in the house, said it was “spot on.” It brought him back to his childhood days eating gooey butter from Dierberg’s while at his grandparents’ house in St. Louis, MO. So you can thank my husband for this new iteration. 

Check out the layers of gooey-ness:

closeup_pumpkin_gooey_butterThis has a perfect caramelized and crunchy crust/cake layer made with cake flour, baking powder, sugar, butter and eggs. The delectable filling is made with cream cheese, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, powdered sugar, nutmeg, salt, vanilla, butter and eggs. It’s baked until the center slightly jiggles. 

To some, this might be too sweet (I thought it was for my taste) but that can be fixed by adding a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. I like mine alongside my morning coffee. Oh, I should mention that it’s also better the next day when the flavors really come together.

I hope you enjoy this recipe — especially you die-hard gooey butter cake fans!

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

A pumpkin-inspired take the original St. Louis gooey butter cake. Made from scratch, this cake features a delicious crust and the gooey filling that many have grown to love.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Author Melissa Hiatt (Making it Sweet)



  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 1/2 cup 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk


  • 8 oz 1 package cream cheese
  • 7.5 oz about 1/2 can of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 lb powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup 1 stick melted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Spray a 9x12 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.

For the cake/crust

  1. Mix together sugar, cake flour, salt and baking powder. Add egg, milk and melted butter to combine. Press mixture on the bottom of the baking pan.

For the filling

  1. Place the cream cheese in a mixing bowl and beat until softened. Add pumpkin puree, cinnamon and nutmeg and continue beating until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly combined. Scrape down bowl as necessary. Slowly add powdered sugar in small increments (otherwise it will explode all over the place). Scrape down the bowl and add butter and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Pour over crust.
  2. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until center is jiggly. Don’t overbake or it will not be “gooey”.
  3. Allow to sit for about an hour before cutting into it.

Recipe Notes

I've tried both all-purpose and cake flour for this recipe and found that cake flour makes the crust a little more tender and easier to cut.
You can serve this with fresh whipped cream and/or sprinkle a little powdered sugar on top like the original St. Louis version.


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